Over 60 participants took part in Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia’s e-Commerce workshop held in Port Villa, Vanuatu on Friday 1st of March.

The workshop was opened by the Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Ms Jenny Da Rin who applauded the initiative, saying it was a great opportunity for businesses in Vanuatu.

“Electronic Commerce and digital trade is an exciting opportunity for Vanuatu and the Pacific.

“The Pacific Possible report by the World Bank suggested improved internet access and connectivity could translate into additional GDP of more than US$5 billion and close to 300,000 additional jobs by 2040. In Vanuatu, more and more people – including in remote areas can now access the internet. Demand for data is growing and the price to consumers is coming down.

“This opens up opportunities for business to grow utilising online platforms and social media marketing”

Jeremy Grennell, General Manager – Exports, PTI Australia said the workshop received a fantastic response. Even though Vanuatu has to contend with high trade costs due to geographic remoteness, platforms like Amazon Marketplace significantly lowered the barriers to entry.

“The feedback we’ve had from Vanuatu businesses has been really positive. Our Pacific Island Export Survey found only 36 per cent of businesses in the Pacific have their own website, with 44 per cent of respondents raising concerns that their lack of digital expertise was a barrier to taking advantage of digital platforms.

PTI Australia’s Digital Trade Program and e-Commerce Workshop is designed to support businesses in Vanuatu and the Pacific to understand and take advantage of the opportunities e-commerce platforms have to offer.

“The Amazon platform provides a great entry point for businesses in Vanuatu looking to reach international markets.

“Amazon Australia will be offering Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), where Amazon delivers products from the Amazon Australia’s warehouse directly to their customers. FBA is game changing for Pacific businesses, shipping in small quantities from the Pacific can be very expensive. Having the ability to have their products stored and distributed to customers from Australia is a huge opportunity.

“This is why we’ve brought Peter Nobbs, an Amazon expert into Vanuatu so he can provide his knowledge of how e-commerce can be used by businesses in Vanuatu to grow export sales.”

Founded in 1979, PTI Australia is an agency of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and is the Pacific region’s lead export and investment facilitation agency; funded by the Australian Government.

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